President Trump made big news today at the World Economic Forum in Davos by saying he was open to the United States reentering the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It was a mistake to assume TPP was dead because President Trump walked away from the deal in January:
“President Donald Trump told CNBC on Thursday that he would reconsider the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal if the United States could strike a “substantially better” agreement.
“I would do TPP, if we made a much better deal than we had,” he said in an exclusive interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal. The deal was terrible, the way it was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP,” he said.
Last January, Trump made the largely symbolic move to pull out of the Pacific trade deal championed by his predecessor, President Barack Obama. As a candidate, Trump repeatedly blasted the agreement, which had little chance of securing congressional approval even before he took office. …”
Trump has also floated the possibility of walking away from NAFTA and reentering the Paris climate agreement. TPP was already dead in Congress when Trump left the deal.
The Trump administration is also reportedly trying to smuggle some aspects of TPP in through the backdoor under the cover of the NAFTA renegotiation. We already have bilateral free trade agreements with most TPP nations – the big exception is Vietnam – which is why leaving the TPP negotiations didn’t have much of a noticeable impact on our economy.